Baby Sanson #2: Second Trimester Recap

Please note this post uses affiliate links (including Amazon Affiliate links). This means that I may earn a small commission for purchases made using these links (at no additional cost to you). All affiliate linked products shared on Eat Wholely With Holly are products I actually use and seriously love, and recommend.


Ohh, you guys.

Is the second trimester not the longest trimester of all time? Okay, maybe the third timester is once you just get OVER it, but with a toddler it seems like this is when shit hit the fan and just took forever. I know ‘ve said it before, but I still don’t know if this pregnancy is harder than my first because I have a toddler, got laid off, and by the looks of it the entire pregnancy will be during a pandemic, or because it just is, but it is shaking up to be drastically different than my first and I think I just haven’t really come to terms with that yet.

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28 weeks

So, see how my second trimester really went via FAQs!

Q: What are you buying for baby #2?

Well, not much besides clothes and diapers. There are some smaller things that need to be replaced from when Bruce was a baby, like we need a new bottle warmer, and I need to replace pump parts and storage bottles (you just don’t reuse those kinds of things, ya know?), but we’re not buying any new gear or big items.

I’ve been debating back and forth on a double stroller, and even bought one used off of Facebook Marketplace and tried it out for a bit, but I just didn’t feel like it was the right set up for us for a few reasons:

  1. What I want for when the baby can be in a stroller without the car seat or bassinet attachment is so different than what I want for when she is still too little to be in the regular stroller seat.
  2. She is going to be born in November when it’s colder out and we aren’t really going to be getting out on walks or anything (let’s be real we aren’t very consistent ‘walking’ type people even when it is nice out haha).
  3. When Bruce was a baby I preferred to wear him in a carrier into stores instead of bringing the car seat/stroller, so I’m assuming I’ll do this again with #2.
  4. Bruce is NOT a stay-in-the-stroller type of kid, so we can’t really count on having two kids in a stroller all the time.
  5. They are PRICEY and take up a TON of space, so it’s hard to justify spending $700+ on a stroller before even knowing how it’s going to go.

So, I sold the double stroller and decided to keep the original set up we had when Bruce was a baby, and if we go out to walk and need a stroller, then B will go in the stroller and one of us will wear baby, and then invest in something when it doesn’t require a car seat or bassinet to be attached!

Q: How has the pandemic impacted your pregnancy?

Where do I even start? I’ll just list them out for you, haha.

  1. Prenatal care is vastly different, as at least 50% of what I needed to go in for with Bruce is either now done virtually, combined with another service so it’s all done at once, or they just cut it out altogether.
  2. I was laid off a few months into the pandemic, and we decided that I would ‘stay home’ (aka not work) for a little while given the timing with how pregnant I was. Because of this, we’ve also changed Bruce’s preschool schedule so he’s now at home more. So – when I was pregnant with Bruce, I was working full-time and commuting every day. Now, I’m a SAHM.
  3. Speaking of being a SAHM, as much as I truly am enjoying the extra time with B, it’s not at all what I envisioned SAHM life to be, because we can’t. go. anywhere. Even the parks are still closed! Without getting too deep into it, it has just really made the experience a lot different than what I had previously hoped for if I ever became a SAHM.
  4. Because of the above, I can feel the impact it has had on my mental health. I’m so much more anxious because I don’t feel great about the prenatal care I’m getting, and I don’t have the same things that I enjoyed doing and that gave me a sense of self. I’m having to figure out what that means for me now, and it just weighs on a girl sometimes, ya know?

Q: Have you picked out a name?

Yes! But we’re keeping it a secret until she is born. It’s the one thing we like to keep a surprise for people, and just something we aren’t interested in opinions on before she comes 🙂

Q: How has this pregnancy been different than your first?

Well, you can refer back to the question on how the pandemic has impacted my pregnancy, because I think that covers the majority of it, but there is also a physical aspect that has been much different as well.

I wasn’t in nearly as good of shape when I got pregnant this time as I was when I got pregnant with Bruce, which has resulted in a lot more aches and pains. I unknowingly had Diastasis Recti after B, which of course I didn’t heal, and that has resulted in a lot of pelvic pain. Plus, I just get winded a lot more easily and certainly don’t have the physical capacity to do things like I did when I was pregnant with B.

Q: How has your diet changed with this pregnancy?

I found out I have iron-deficient anemia, so I’ve added an iron supplement to my diet, and I am actively trying to eat more meat and cooked greens (think spinach and kale) to get my iron levels up.

Iron supplements really do a number on your GI system, so I’ve also had to navigate how to best time the supplements and add in other things to my diet to help keep things moving.

So far, what seems to work best is to take my supplement in the middle of the day so my morning cup of coffee has time to work it’s magic, and then I take a magnesium supplement in the afternoon/evenings that originally was for helping me sleep, but also helps with the digestive component as well.

Q: What were your second trimester cravings?

Drinks. Maybe it was because of the summer, but I wanted an ice cold beer or a cold glass of wine SO BADLY. I was the mocktail QUEEN during the second trimester, and needed to drink things other than water.

And I’m counting that as a craving vs. denial and grumpiness about not drinking, because being a couple weeks into my third trimester as I write this up, I truly do not have that same longing for a drink as I did a couple months ago. So, craving it is haha.

Q: Are there any “things” that you couldn’t live without during your second trimester?

Two things: facial wipes and maternity joggers.

Seriously. I never felt like I got that spike of energy back, and was just so pooped at the end of the day that I was neglecting my skincare routine, so I started purchasing these Ursa Major facial wipes to make sure I at least just cleaned my face every night, and I looooove them. They do the best job at removing makeup and dirt than any other brand I’ve tried, and they haven’t irritated or dried out my sensitive skin.

And joggers. So comfy. Perfect for SAHM and prego life. These ones from Amazon are like butter and I wear them almost every day. I really don’t have much else to say about them except I regret is not buying them sooner.

Q: Is there anything you want to do differently this time?

Well, things will already be a lot different because I won’t truly have a ‘maternity leave’, and will have two kiddos at home instead of getting to spend a few months solo with one. So I can’t say it’s something I necessarily wanted to do differently, but it will be different.

But, I will say I have a very different philosophy around feeding this time around. With Bruce, I was adamant that if I was home, I HAD to breastfeed him – aka my husband couldn’t bottle feed him (which he tried to do to help me out and now I cringe thinking about how I didn’t let him). And you bet your butt that is going to be different. I feel so much more educated around pumping and I care less about exclusively breastfeeding that I’m SO DOWN for bottles to be used more so my husband has an extra opportunity to bond with baby, and if for whatever reason we need to supplement with formula (because I am gone, or whatever I am doing), then have at it, my friend. IT IS ALL FINE AND WILL BE FINE. Your baby won’t be any less healthy for it.

So there you have it, a recap of my second trimester the second time around. How did your second (or third, or fourth, etc.!) pregnancy differ from your first pregnancy? I’d love to know in the comments!


Baby Sanson #2: First Trimester Recap

Please note this post uses affiliate links (including Amazon Affiliate links). This means that I may earn a small commission for purchases made using these links (at no additional cost to you). All affiliate linked products shared on Eat Wholely With Holly are products I actually use and seriously love, and recommend.


**TRIGGER WARNING: Mentions of miscarriage**

Surprise…we’re pregnant!

But you already knew that. I started my Instagram account for this blog when I was newly pregnant with baby #2 and I decided from the get go that I would be open and share my pregnancy along with any updates whatever that path was. We’re grateful to have a very healthy baby growing, and we anticipate the rest of the pregnancy to be the same barring any unforeseen circumstances.

Okay, on to the stuff you really came here for: a first trimester recap via FAQs!

Q: How did you and your husband know you were ready for baby #2?

We had always known that we wanted our kids to be close together. My husband is about 4 years older than his younger brother, and I am about 3 years older than my younger brother, and we both agreed that we wanted our kids to be closer in age and grades in school. We like the idea of going through all of the same phases relatively close together as parents, and we wanted our kids to have the experience of being at the same school as their sibling(s) for more time than what we both experienced. We had originally talked about trying for baby #2 when Bruce was around a year old, but a few months earlier than that I was getting MAJOR baby fever, and we decided why not?

Q: How long did it take you to get pregnant?

It took us awhile. We started trying when Bruce was 9 months old (in March 2019), and got pregnant 10 months later (in December 2019). This really threw me for a loop, because we got pregnant with Bruce while I was on birth control, so I hadn’t experienced going through trying for a baby before, and I certainly wasn’t prepared for the experience of having some trouble with it.

Unfortunately, we discovered the pregnancy was ectopic in January 2020 (should have known this year was going to be off!), and I subsequently miscarried.

We decided to just let things be, and focus on me having a regular cycle again in February. We weren’t trying per say, but we also weren’t preventing. And as luck would have it, I got pregnant! We officially found out I was pregnant in March 2020, 1 year after we started trying.

Now, we’ll never know why it took so long for us to get pregnant after we started trying. I had an IUD after Bruce, and I got it removed the month we started trying. Did it have anything to do with anything? Again, we can’t say for sure, and we’ll never know, but I have a hard time believing it didn’t have ANY impact on my body, hormones, and ability to conceive. If I’m speaking candidly, I almost think that the ectopic pregnancy was my body’s way of flushing out any lasting effects that the IUD hormones were having on my body. Please remember, this is not medically backed at all, and not necessarily a theory supported by my doctor, but this is my personal intuition after our experience.

Q: Will you find out the gender?

Yes, and we have! We’re so excited to have a baby girl on the way. You can see our gender announcement on Instagram here.

I will say, we did an at home blood test from the company called Sneak Peek to find out the gender early (you can do it as early as 8 weeks), but unfortunately I can’t recommend it because the results were wrong for us. There is a chance the results were contaminated, but I’m not sure I could have done anything more besides swim in bleach to make sure all of the surfaces and tools I was using were clean!

Q: Has this pregnancy been different than your first?

Yes. If I had to sum it up with one word, it would be “oof”. I’m not sure if it has been harder because I am also running around after a two year-old, or if it actually is, but it has just been harder.

Being pregnant during a pandemic been a blessing and a curse I will say, because in the beginning of my pregnancy the whole quarantine thing made it a LOT easier to not have to worry about what I would say while we still didn’t want to share – we weren’t going anywhere and/or interacting with many people socially, including family. We told our parents pretty soon after we found out, and gradually told siblings and grandparents after that, but all well before 12 weeks (not that we were waiting for that milestone, but that is typically when folks wait until to be comfortable sharing because most of your risk of miscarriage is behind you at that point).

The curse part of all of was when daycare closed for a month and I was in full first-trimester exhaustion mode and frequently getting migraines while having my 2 year old son home full-time. It was ROUGH. There was a lot more TV and junk meals than I’d like to admit, but we just embraced it and rolled with the punches.

Also, I was furloughed and subsequently laid off due to COVID during this time, so it has been a completely different experience for me in that I haven’t been working and trying to balance pregnancy with that. Again, nice to not have to consciously “hide” it from work, but it also has meant I’ve been acutely aware that I’m pregnant at all times vs. getting the (sometimes) welcome distraction of work.

Q: Did you experience any nausea or morning sickness?

Luckily, I am part of the 20% of women who don’t experience pregnancy related nausea (I didn’t with Bruce either). That being said, I am part of the group of women who DO experience pregnancy headaches and migraines. To be honest, I’m not sure which is worse!

Q: Are there any “things” that you couldn’t live without during your first trimester?

Aside from extra strength Tylenol (a.k.a., the only medication I could use for migraines), I pretty much always had a giant hydro flask of water (I like this one with the straw lid) and this jade roller cooled and ready to go for instant headache relief.

Q: Do you have any specific cravings?

Just like I did with Bruce, I cannot say no to anything sweet. I seriously thought about donuts and cinnamon rolls constantly, when normally I am a savory girl through and through. My husband loves it though, because he has such a sweet tooth and is thrilled that I can’t say no to his late night treat runs!

So there you have it, a recap of my first trimester the second time around. How did your second (or third, or fourth, etc.!) pregnancy differ from your first pregnancy? I’d love to know in the comments!


A Day of Toddler Meals: 24 Months

What my toddler actually eats in a day.

Amongst many other things, toddler eating is something that I think we get so unnecessarily anxious about as parents, and are quick to jump into the comparison game and spiral into a big black hole of despair. It’s something we get SO concerned about, and start paying attention to the details on overdrive. Are they eating enough? Are they getting the right nutrients? Are they gaining enough weight? It’s maddening, really.

It’s so easy to get overwhelmed, and I was thinking – how can I help create space for parents to see real life examples of how toddlers eat? A space where they can come for ideas, or just for assurance that they aren’t alone in weird toddler eating patterns?

So, I’m starting a new series: A Day of Toddler Meals! Once a month, I’ll showcase a day of what my toddler ate, and provide details including how I prepared it, if it was the same or different than what I ate, and how much he actually ate. My goal is to show the nuances of toddler eating, how it differs month to month (day to day, really), and how each kid is wildly different, but that it is all normal.

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BREAKFAST

  • Blueberries
  • Trader Joe’s Silver Dollar Pancakes with butter
  • Trader Joe’s Strawberry Beet Berry Whole Milk Yogurt (not pictured)
  • Whole Milk (not pictured)I’m going to warn you now, this was an incredibly unusual day for Bruce, because he ate FOUR (4) helpings of breakfast. Four. Now the kid is a good eater, but not that good. The week after we did this he sprouted in terms of weight, so I’m quite certain he was going through a growth spurt and I just happened to catch one of these days.
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SNACKS & LUNCH

So lunch didn’t really happen because he snacked all morning, then refused the lunch I offered him, and then snacked all afternoon.

  • AM Snack: blackberries (ate 3 handfuls)
  • AM Snack: Kirkland applesauce packet (ate 2)
  • Lunch: Starbucks sous vides egg bites and apple juice
  • PM Snack: Cheddar cheese stick (ate 2)
  • PM Snack: Cinnamon toast crunch

Clearly, we were just all over the place with snacks this day, and I wasn’t necessarily serving him nutritionally balanced snacks (ahem, cinnamon toast crunch). I was about 20 weeks pregnant when we did this, and was just having an OFF day, so I gravitated toward grabbing things that I didn’t have to cook or put together.

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DINNER

  • Stir fried shaved beef marinated in Trader Joe’s Honey Aleppo Sauce with a turmeric yogurt sauce
  • Pearled cous cous
  • Sauteed zucchini and yellow summer squash
  • Cucumber, sliced and quartered
  • Trader Joe’s dill pickle hummus
  • Whole milk (not pictured)

He was clearly subjected to my pregnancy cravings, hence the dill pickle hummus. But impressively, he pretty much ate the entire plate and didn’t ask for seconds.

Like I mentioned, this was an unusual day of eating for Bruce, as the week after he was up a few pounds so the timing correlated with a growth spurt, so PLEASE do not compare how your kid normally eats with this day of eating. It is not our norm!!

And that’s a wrap on a 24 month day of eating! Let me know what questions you have, and I will answer them! Also, be sure to comment with any recipes you would like to see me try with him for next month’s day of eating below!

Xox,

Holly


Baby Led Weaning: How and Why I Chose This Method to Feed My Baby

After trying purees, we changed the way we fed our son.

When Bruce turned 4 months old, his pediatrician told me at his well check appointment that I could start feeding him solids. Her words were something along the lines of “We usually recommend waiting until 6 months, but if he’s sitting independently now or if you just want to start anyway, go for it.” I asked her if she thought he was ready and what signs I should be looking for, and she kind of shrugged off the question and said “if you’re comfortable, you’re fine to start.”

Lady, I don’t know if I’m comfortable, I’ve never done this before, that’s why I’m asking YOU for a recommendation (can anyone relate??).

Side note: I think that this is when I realized that there are a lot of topics that pediatricians just aren’t experts in, and feeding is one of them. Looking back on it, this is what triggered me to be a “kind of crunchy” mom, if you will, researching everything baby related and choosing, based on my own beliefs and comfort level, where I wanted to potentially deviate from the “conventional” or traditionally recommended approaches to all things baby.

Knowing that I am the type of person who obsessively researches when I don’t immediately know what to do, I just said “OK, thanks” and started thinking about everything I was going to Google search during Bruce’s next nap.

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WE STARTED WITH TRADITIONAL FEEDING

The thing is, at the same time I was also REALLY excited to feed him solids. It just seemed so…fun? I wanted to mix and match spices and make all of his baby food, and I reaaaally wanted to start using the highchair and feeding products we had registered for and been staring at for months (I wasn’t even remotely aware of Baby Led Weaning at this point). I had ultimately decided on my way home from the doctor that I was going to just start with solids and see how he did, research the shit out of baby feeding, and adjust however I wanted and felt comfortable with.

So, the journey began. I steamed and pureed some sweet potato and he loved it, so I knew starting solids was the right choice because it WAS fun. He was excited about it, I was excited about it, and it became a time of day when we could just bond and enjoy. Pretty much right away, he also started grabbing the spoon from me and wanting to chew on it and handle it on his own, and when we would all eat together, he was definitely reaching for whatever was on our plate. Little did I know that these were signs he was ready for more than just purees!

And then, when I started getting into the depths of the internet, I discovered Baby Led Weaning.

WHAT IS BABY LED WEANING?

For those who may not be familiar with the concept, Baby Led Weaning (or infant self-feeding) is the idea that you introduce babies to feeding by giving them pieces of whole foods and let them explore and learn how to feed themselves, rather than pureeing foods and spoon feeding them. With Baby Led Weaning, you essentially give them soft, easy to pick up foods like roasted sweet potato strips or a mozzarella cheese stick, and they pick it up, gnaw on it, eat it, etc.

All in all, it boils down to this: with both methods of feeding, they are being exposed to a variety of different tastes and flavors. In traditional feeding, babies are learning how to swallow foods first, and THEN how to chew and handle texture and whole pieces of food, whereas Baby Led Weaning is the opposite: they learn how to handle texture and whole pieces of food and chew upfront, and THEN how to swallow.

A lot of parents choose not to do Baby Led Weaning because there are a lot of worries about choking and safety. The thing is this – babies have an incredible gag reflex on the middle/front of their tongue, so they are inclined to spit something out if it is too big or if they don’t like it long before it gets to the “danger zone” in their throat. Additionally, it is an excellent idea to get CPR certified to feel confident that you know what to do in the case of choking.

Knowing these things, if Baby Led Weaning still triggers an insane amount of anxiety for you, it just might not be the best method of feeding for your family. The most important thing is to make sure YOU feel safe and confident in how you are feeding your baby, because their energy and confidence will “feed” (no pun intended) off of you.

FINDING RESOURCES ON BABY LED WEANING AND LEARNING MORE

I found Inspiralized Kids (@inspiralizedkids) on Instagram, which led me to discover Feeding Littles (@feedinglittles), who are infant and toddler feeding experts, and the more I learned, the more I realized that Baby Led Weaning was right for us. Regardless of whether or not you want to do Baby Led Weaning, I HIGHLY recommend you follow both accounts as they have great meal time ideas and examples, as well as a wealth of information about feeding babies and toddlers in general.

Bruce is, and always has been, such an active and physically-forward (I have no idea if that’s even a phrase but hopefully you get what I mean) kid, so I knew that a feeding method that focused on motor skills and eating was going to be perfect for him. 

Plus, he was close to sitting up fully supported, loved grabbing and playing with spoons, and was incredibly interested in the things we were eating rather than the purees we were giving him, which was signaling to me that he was ready to progress.

TRANSITIONING FROM TRADITIONAL FEEDING TO BABY LED WEANING

I didn’t want to go “all or nothing” and make a total change, so I decided to do a slower, gradual transition. Bruce really enjoyed the purees he was being fed, and I could tell he was hungry and eating a lot when we were feeding him, so I didn’t want to take that away (I think I had a little PTSD from when he was younger and we had to go in for a few weight checks because the doctor was concerned about him not gaining enough weight, so I didn’t want to give up anything that was working in terms of feeding him).

During meal times, I started to introduce whole pieces of foods before purees. I would do things like strips of toast with a puree spread on it, and let him explore and go to town. I had a ton of pureed food that I had already made and frozen, so it was a great way to use that and still practice Baby Led Weaning! Afterwards, if he didn’t eat a ton, I would feed him purees because he was used to it and he was hungry – I couldn’t say no!

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After about a month of combination feeding, he started figuring out the whole pieces of food more and more, and we started doing less and less purees afterwards until he was comfortably eating whole foods exclusively.

I knew he was ready to be on whole foods exclusively when daycare called asking if they could feed him whole foods because he was trying to steal other kids’ foods!

All in all, from the time that we started feeding purees to the time that we were doing Baby Led Weaning exclusively was about 2 months, which means by 6 months old we had fully transitioned. And we never looked back!

There are a couple things I’d be remiss not to mention:

1) This isn’t to say we never used pouches for snacks — we definitely did, as those were key for our busy, on the go family. While he was still under 1, we used the puree pouches, but after 1 applesauce and yogurt became (and still are!) our favorite go-to snacks.

2) We invested in different equipment — after learning from Feeding Littles and observing Bruce eating, I knew our current highchair wasn’t going to cut it. I took the plunge and invested in a considerably more expensive highchair, and bought all the cups, plates, and forks. I don’t regret it at all, and feel that it was a game changer for him.

Baby Led Weaning was one of the best things we did for Bruce, as we saw a huge improvement in his motor skill development, and I think it is what built the foundation for him to be an amazing eater still to this day. While we are experiencing some toddler pickiness, he still eats a TON and it is pretty cool to watch him learn and grow and be so self-sufficient with his eating.

Let me know what questions you have about Baby Led Weaning; I can’t wait to start our feeding journey with baby girl after she arrives!

Xox,

Holly


Cauliflower Crust Mini Pizzas

A fun, easy meal to make with your toddler!

Cooking has been something that I have developed a passion for over the last 7 years after graduating college, moving out of my parents’ house, and moving in with my (then boyfriend) husband. Something about having another person to cook for really sparked something in me to get creative and lean into cooking as an outlet for that.

That being said, one of the hardest parts of motherhood for me is to maintain that creative outlet. My husband works late a lot, and it is SO HARD to have the time to devote to cooking and really enjoy it. So, instead of letting it be something that frustrates me, I’m going to channel that energy (and practice my best patience) into teaching Bruce how to cook, and teaching him other things through cooking.

“Good luck”, you guys are probably thinking. Bring a 2 year old into the kitchen? I know, I know, it might be crazy, but is it so crazy it just might work?!

Which brings me to these pizzas! Bruce man and I are solo this weekend (Happy deer season opener to all of the other hunting wives out there!), so we spent our Friday night making mini pizzas. I had bought these mini cauliflower crusts from Trader Joes and KNEW they would be perfect for this, so I was excited to to this activity with him.

He loved it of course, and had so much fun helping me layer the ingredients on the pizzas. I was impressed — I had to coach him to put toppings on ALL the pizzas, not just one, but he did great at taking not-too-big of handfuls and was quite accurate with getting it on the pizza (obviously I didn’t have high hopes).

I can’t wait to get him involved in some more cooking adventures with me!

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One thing to note — I pre-cooked the toppings, which were country sausage and zucchini (Trader Joes has pre-packaged bags of mini zucchinis, which were perfect!). It was perfect to get the actual cooking that he isn’t ready to be involved in yet out of the way, and have it ready for him. I try to make a point to do a lot of dinner prep during nap time and then just have it easily accessible in the fridge when we are ready to start cooking.

Also, you do not have to use country sausage and zucchini as your toppings, that’s just what I chose. You can swap out for your fave toppings!

Have you made these? Let me know what you think or any questions you have in the comments below!


RECIPE

Makes 4 mini pizzas, serves 1 adult and 1 toddler comfortably – duplicate as needed for the number of eaters in your family!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Mini Cauliflower Crusts from Trader Joes
  • Pizza sauce (I used a Trader Joe’s brand, but usually prefer Rao’s when it is available!)
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese (buy the full fat – it is better for your littles and melts way better!)
  • Country sausage, cooked (I saved the leftovers to have as breakfast through the week!)
  • Mini zuchhini, halved and chopped

DIRECTIONS:

  • If using your oven to bake, pre-heat to 500
  • Spread out the mini cauliflower crusts in a line (they come in a 4 pack)
  • Using a spoon, scoop about 1 spoonful of sauce, and spread evenly on 1 crust
  • Repeat on each crust
  • Take a pinch or two of shredded cheese, and sprinkle evenly on each crust
  • Top with sausage and zucchini
  • Bake in the toaster oven on 450 for about 5 mins, or bake in the oven on the top rack at 500 for about 5 mins (when the cheese is melted to your liking)